SEQUIM — The cross country postseason opened with a bang for North Olympic Peninsula runners.
A deep Port Angeles boys team, with four runners in the top 14 finishers, including Olympic League champ Jack Gladfelter, ran to the Olympic League Cross Country Championship at The Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course on Thursday.
Sequim senior Riley Pyeatt earned her second Olympic League girls individual crown with a 26-second victory to pace the Wolves
And the East Jefferson boys team placed four runners in the top 11 to claim the Class 1A Nisqually League Championship at Fort Steilacoom Park.
Windy at Cedars
Olympic League harriers dashed through blustery conditions along the relatively flat confines of Cedars at Dungeness on a strangely warm afternoon Thursday.
Gladfelter has been the top Olympic League boys runner all season and proved it again, taking the individual crown in 16 minutes, 25.42 seconds, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Bainbridge runner-up Alexander Miller (16:35.17).
Sequim sophomore Colby Ellefson was neck-and-neck with Miller for much of the race before finishing third overall in 16:40.84.
Port Angeles senior Josh Gavin placed fourth for the Riders (17:04), junior Max Baeder ended up sixth (17:10), senior Naaman McGuffey placed 13th (17:38.52), junior Langdon Larson was 14th for the Riders in 17:40, senior Jason Gladfelter came in 26th with a time of 18:37 and junior Kowen Kasten was 31st in 18:53.
Those finishes earned 38 team points and the championship for Port Angeles, well ahead of runner-up Kingston (65).
“We celebrated our 11 seniors tonight, their dedication to cross country, recognized their greatest accomplishments and honored their contributions to the team,” Riders boys coach Rodger Johnson said.
Sequim ended up in fifth place with 148 points.
Besides Ellefson’s third-place finish, junior Owen Randell was 27th (18:39); junior Calem Klinger 33rd in 18:55; junior Mirek Skov placed 37th (19:17); freshman Connor Goff was 48th (21:02); freshman Sean Southard was 52nd (21:41) and sophomore Ari Skov was 54th (21:48).
Pyeatt is the class of the Olympic League girls, winning all five regular season league meets and now adding a second Olympic League Championship to her expanding trophy case.
She finished the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course in 18:37 to help the Wolves earn a fourth-place team finish with 87 points, three behind North Mason. Bainbridge won the girls team title with 34 points.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Bloomenrader earned a seventh-place finish in 20:55, senior Aidyn Shingleton ended up 24th in 23:26, junior Anastasia Updike was 29th in 23:55, freshman Nikoline Updike placed 40th in 24:45, freshman Mia Kirner came in 44th (24:53) and freshman Aspen Goldner was 58th (28:09).
Port Angeles’ girls finished sixth as a team and will compete along with their Roughriders boys counterparts and Sequim runners at the Class 2A Westside Classic District Cross Country meet at Chambers Bay in University Place next Saturday.
Freshman Zakara Braun led Port Angeles, finishing 22nd in 22:59. Senior Gracie Townsend ended up 41st in 24:48, freshman Faerin Tait came in 52nd in 26:08, sophomore Maya Gentry was 62nd (29:02), senior Katie Marchant 68th in 30:02 and freshman Rhiley Pavlak was 72nd (31:18).
STEILACOOM — East Jefferson senior Max Allworth-Miles paced the championship-winning Rivals boys with a second-place finish at the Nisqually League Championships with a time of 17:15.
Junior Sebastian Manza came in third in 17:38, with senior Glen Dawson (17.56) and freshman Soare Johnston (18:05) placing 11th.
Rivals senior Mark Anderson came in 27th in 19:47 to round out the East Jefferson varsity.
Klahowya senior Kelton Gagnon won the meet in 16:58.
On the girls side, East Jefferson sophomore Aliyah Yearian finished second in 19:25.9, just behind Vashon’s Madeline Yarkin in 19:24.
Sophomore Tadu Dollarhide ended up 10th in 21:57, senior Lia Poore was 13th in 22:33 and sophomore Sylvia Butterfield was 19th in 23:49.
With four runners, the Rivals didn’t count for the team title won by Klahowya.
Forks at Pacific League
WESTPORT — A youthful Spartans squad competed at the Pacific League Championships at Ocosta High School on Thursday.
Forks juniors Kevin Camacho-Roldan (19:48) and Nick Kelly (26:47) finished 11th and 33rd, respectively, while freshman Nathanel Murray was 36th in 28:52.
On the girls side, Spartans freshman Moli Luong (24:24) finished 11th, sophomore Kendall Marshall was 13th in 25:13 and sophomore Hailey Garcia-Moog finished 18th with a time of 35:03.
Neither Forks side was large enough to earn team points. NW Christian won the boys meet, Ilwaco the girls.